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ELB3345

School System Questions

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I am in the process or fighting with the school system to try to get a health care plan for my son and prove that eating gluten interfeers with his learning. Has anyone had to do this? I am trying to get funding for the daycares and schools in NC to help parents with the costs of gluten free foods at school and daycare but I need some help!

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I don't personally feel it is up to the schools or daycares to provide special foods for our children. You want gluten free, but where does it stop? My daughter is not celiac but she is allergic to wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, bananas and peanuts. Her friend (in the same class) has pretty much all the same allergies and more as well.

Yes, it is annoying when the class has pizza parties or ice cream parties. Or when they are rewarded with things like M & M's. My daughter and her friend often feel left out. The other mother and I try to provide suitable substitutes for them, but it isn't always possible. We don't always know when these things are going to happen.

But if you are going to accomodate one child, you'd have to accomodate them all. I just can't see how they could realistically do it. There is never a day when my daughter can buy her lunch at school. She is always allergic to something on that tray. And most days it's most of the food. At her school there is no choice of food. You either buy what is being served or you don't buy at all.

I don't know what the answer is. Making lunch for my daughter every day is certainly a pain. Her class has a microwave, but she isn't allowed to use it. I suppose they made the rule because there isn't enough time to heat lunches for all the children.

One day they let her go without her lunch. I'd sent in a large, insulated container of some all in one dish like stew. I can't remember now what was in it. Nobody could get the lid off. Not even me, when I got it home. I'd bought two of the darned things too. Both were bad. She was complaining because the smaller containers we have were too small and didn't hold enough food for her. So I bought these larger ones. I had put an apple and some cookies in her lunch, so at least she had that to eat, but she came home cranky and starving. The school had nothing else to give her to eat. I've since sent in a can of Orgran pasta and told the teacher if something like that happens again to let her eat that cold from the can. I guess it would be better than nothing.

I don't know what the answer is. I've heard other people say they feel every child should be accomodated no matter the food issue. But I just don't see how we can do it.

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Guest j_mommy

In my state if you're going to bring treats for the class you have to include an ingredient list. due to peanut, wheat ect alergies.

I am also in agreement that I don't think it is my daycare responsibility to provide gluten free things for my son. I would not want the entire daycare rates to go up b/c of the daycare providing special food for my son. In the end it is cheaper for me to send the food.

In a perfect world this would be a great idea. But we are far from that!Sadly!I am just happy that when treats are brought that they have an ingredient list. I know that daycare is diffrent from school but the schools here do the same thing. They also send out birthday dates so that if your child has some type of alergy you can send a treat for them if they can't have the treat the other childs family brought!

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I agree with the last 3 posters. I don't want the school to provide gluten free food for my son but I do want them to keep me informed of when extra food will be brought into the classroom. My son understand and accepts that he can not eat the same lunches as everyone else, but, it is a different story when the class is provided with a treat that he can not eat too. Who can blame him.

Nicole

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Well good luck on that one....where i live my son had to just come home for lunch cuz he was the only "C" child in town....but when he was younger all the room mothers from K-6th always made only things he could eat along with the other classmates every year the got a list of wht he couldn't have and they always made it so "he wouldn't feel embarresed to say oh i can't have that".....so i like other post>t's agree there is no way i see u can make this happen...but good luck wht ever u do

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I didn't mean to start a bad thing - I think I was misunderstood. I do not want the schools to provide his food, however I do want them to recognize that celiac is a disease and I want it to be recognized like peanut allergies and diabetics. There is funding from places out there such as United Way that will help daycares and schools have extra staff people to help preparing foods for special needs children. (SUch as making grilled cheese if I bring the bread) I know this because I have another child with a cleft lip and palate who qualifies for this funding. I too agree that it would be impossible to ask the schools to prepare foods for my son and other celiacs all the time but more importantly I would like to be aware of special parties, etc so that I can bring food. Sounds like everyone has had a lot of luck wit that part so hopefully I will too.

Ultimately I agree that my sons food is my responsibility and no the school system. I bring foods to daycare similar to what the other kids are eating so that he doesn't feel left out. This has worked very well so far. I would like to help educate the school systems on this disease so they know what children with celiac can and can't eat. More and more kids are being diagnosed with celiac and I fell that doing this would not only help my son but all other kids in the future who are diagnosed with celiac.

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Guest lorlyn

My 10 year old daughter has a written offical diagnoses. At first her school said she could not use the microwave 6 months ago because other children would want to also. I was talking with her principal about Celiac falling under the ADA and how some of my daughter food was much better heated in the microwave and the principal understood I think <_< and told my daughter she could use it and the other kids would just have to understand her special food diet.

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I'm dealing with the school and trying to have gluten sensitivity and the resultant illness when she consumes it recognized. My daughter is in kindergarten and I just found out yesterday that she is on the list to be held back due to excessive absences. The assistant principal agreed it's got nothing to do with her academics, but solely with her absences.

She suggested we go forward with Plan 504, but at the same time, said that most of the cases that she deals with regarding 504, are for ADD, and admitted that she is not sure how to proceed with my daughters case.

As more and more children are diagnosed with Celiac and gluten sensitivity, the schools are going to have face this. Unfortunately, it looks like in a way, we are the pioneers :o Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

Natalie

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I'm dealing with the school and trying to have gluten sensitivity and the resultant illness when she consumes it recognized. My daughter is in kindergarten and I just found out yesterday that she is on the list to be held back due to excessive absences. The assistant principal agreed it's got nothing to do with her academics, but solely with her absences.

She suggested we go forward with Plan 504, but at the same time, said that most of the cases that she deals with regarding 504, are for ADD, and admitted that she is not sure how to proceed with my daughters case.

As more and more children are diagnosed with Celiac and gluten sensitivity, the schools are going to have face this. Unfortunately, it looks like in a way, we are the pioneers :o Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

Natalie

I know here in Indiana a child can be listed as OHI. Other Health Impared. I haven't gotten that far with my celiac daughter, but my son having autism and severe asthma they have listed him that way. He has been followed by our special ed. dept since he was three and he misses so much preschool due to his asthma. He is listed as OHI instead of autistic, because his asthma causes more problems, with his education than his autism. I know they write out a IEP. Individual Education Plan that includes exceptions and goals for our son. He has sensory issues due to the autism and alot of foods, by sight or smell make him gag, they have arranged for him to sit in another area (not in the cafateria) when something is to much for him that day. They also have it written that he will be able to come in late , when needed of course, when we are up all night due to the asthma. They also have it specified that if he missed 20 days in a row, they will have a tutor for him.

I just can't imagine a school system not wanting to work with you. That is what the education system is for. They are here for our children, with there special health needs and all.

Natalie, I would press your school to not hold your child back. If you think she is educationally where she needs to be and so does the school. It is not her fault she has celiac and it is not her fault that the school hasn't taken care of their responsibility which is to accomadate your special child. We do need to be the pioneers, but the schools deal with children with all kinds of needs all of the time and there is no reason they haven't already established a plan for her. They can be sued for that, not that I am saying to do that but that is a serious issue, that is why they get state dollars!!!!! I'll get off my soapbox now. I just don't agree with a child suffering due to a school being ignorant.


Son - 8/2001- Asthma 2003, ADHD & PDD-2006, Eosiniphilic Esophigitis & GERD-2007, Endoscopy & Neg. antibody panel 2007. Positive HLA-DQ8

Daughter - 7/2005 - Duarte Galactosemia 2005, Esophigitis & GERD- 2007, Endoscopy 2007, Neg.Biopsy, Positive antibody panel, HLA-DQ8, Official Celiac Diagnosis 5-1-07, gluten free since 4-28-07, Tic Disorder

Husband- Positive Gene testing HLA-DQ8, 9-2007, Negative antibody panel 10-07, must be carrier only

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Guest lorlyn

Just remeber schools are supose to follow the ADA. Celiac is a disability.

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My 10 year old daughter has a written offical diagnoses. At first her school said she could not use the microwave 6 months ago because other children would want to also. I was talking with her principal about Celiac falling under the ADA and how some of my daughter food was much better heated in the microwave and the principal understood I think <_< and told my daughter she could use it and the other kids would just have to understand her special food diet.

That is great the principal is lettting you do that.

Teh principal were my son is at has no idea what celiac is or any of the teachers at the moment. I was going to go met with them all but since he only has a week left, im waiitng to met with everyone at the highschool he will be going to next year.

paula


gluten, casein and soy free

on low carb/low sugar diet

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Guest lorlyn

Schools do have a hard time understanding Celiacs. I am trying to tell everyone there about Celiacs. My daughter knows that play dough has wheat in it, but for her art class they were making things with play dough all week. I noticed my daughter was not her sweet self. She flunked a Sceince test the same week that she thought she had done well on. I am on a mission for next school year to meet with everyone she will come in to contact with, espically the art teacher :angry: Just keep telling them that your child has a type of disability and they need to try to meet their needs

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I am in the process or fighting with the school system to try to get a health care plan for my son and prove that eating gluten interfeers with his learning. Has anyone had to do this? I am trying to get funding for the daycares and schools in NC to help parents with the costs of gluten free foods at school and daycare but I need some help!

I agree with many of the posters on this one... really its up to the parents to provide appropriate food for their children. Even if it means more $$ spent on our end. There are things that you can request that I do think are appropriate. Thinks like:

1. Advanced notification of special party days so that you can provide Pizza for you child if the others are eating pizza or cake for you child if there is a birthday party

2. Making sure you son eats at a table that has been cleaned of possibly gluten contaminates (washed between uses)

3. Insist that fresh fruits and vegetables be available to all children at the day care (its just healthy and should be done anyway)

You can get a 504 plan written for children with Celiac disease. You may need to have one if you are finding that they are not taking "gluten free" seriously!

Hope this helps!

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In my opinion it is also appropriate to ask for access to use a microwave oven.

A 504 plan is good idea even if there are currently no problems. This will prevent future problems as a child changes teachers and schools. The school has to comply with the 504 plan. A school generally not volunteer to write a 504 plan. A parent will need to request it and probabley provide a doctors letter.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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Okay, I'm a second grade teacher in Ohio. I will give you my two cents.

Unfortunately, teachers do not always know when special treats are going to arrive, so it's your responsibility as a parent to provide a stock of treats so that I can give them to your child when a "surprise" birthday treat comes in from another parent who doesn't plan ahead very well. Many times, a parent will send his/her child to school with a whole grocery bag that's full of individual treat bags- one for each student. These are the worst, because all of these different kinds of candies are from a bag that's at home somewhere, and there's no way for me to check the ingredients. Therefore, I can't give your child anything from the bag for fear it contains some kind of trace ingredients. If I have a stock of treats you've sent in, I can just give one discretely to your child.

As for microwaving, lunchtime is a very busy time of the day. If your child can microwave the meal by himself/herself AND clean up any resulting mess, that's great. As a teacher, I'm getting my kids down to the cafeteria for lunch and then I'm going to have my own lunch, take a break, and get things set up for the afternoon, all within 50 minutes. Not to be mean, but I really don't have time to microwave anyone's lunch. As long as your child eats dairy products and/or meat, plus fruits and vegetables, I don't see why it would be necessary to have his/her lunch microwaved. I'm a vegetarian and am currently on a gluten-free and lactose-free diet, and I rarely feel the need to microwave anything at lunchtime. There are lots of yummy foods that can be eaten cold. If you feel that microwaving absolutely has to be done, either try to arrange something with the school nurse (assuming she is full-time) or someone on the cafeteria staff.

I've never had a kid with a known gluten sensitivity/celiac disease. Having the problem myself, I would know what to do, of course, but very few people know anything about this disease, so it's your responsibility to provide information that is clear and concise. Also, you should provide a written information sheet for every teacher who has contact with your child, because you never know when the P.E., music, art, or other teacher may reward the class with a treat. Your best bet would probably be to provide the principal with multiple copies of the information and tell him that you want it posted in a prominant place in each classroom your child frequents. This year we have several diabetic children in our school, so the nurse set up an information session for teachers in every affected grade level. She educated us on the disease and also answered our questions. You might want to ask your principal or nurse to do the same for any teachers who have contact with your child.

As for holiday parties, I don't know what to tell you. The chances for contamination at a party are very, very high. You have room moms giving out food to lots of excited children. Half the class might be eating, and the other half is playing a game. The little hands are all sticky and crumb-covered, and trust me, they don't wash their hands between activities. If you don't work outside the home, you might want to be one of the room moms. Then you're there to keep a discrete eye on things and intervene if needed. Even working moms can go to holiday parties. At my school there are three a year, so it's feasable that a mom (or dad) could attend all three.

Good luck

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Guest lorlyn

My 10 year old daughter has been on the gluten-free diet for 7 months now at the grocery store the other day she told me she is sick of eating fruit every day for lunch and snack.As we all know gluten-free bread is somewhat better if it is microwaved first. Beside fruit she eats a nacho lunchable with cold cheese :( I agree if a child can heat and clean up after using the microwave she should be able to use one. She should not have to eat cold food when it should be hot. Since Celiac is a disability the schools need to accomodate children with special needs.

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My 10 year old daughter has been on the gluten-free diet for 7 months now at the grocery store the other day she told me she is sick of eating fruit every day for lunch and snack.As we all know gluten-free bread is somewhat better if it is microwaved first. Beside fruit she eats a nacho lunchable with cold cheese :( I agree if a child can heat and clean up after using the microwave she should be able to use one. She should not have to eat cold food when it should be hot. Since Celiac is a disability the schools need to accomodate children with special needs.

Does she like the squeezable yogurts (don't know if they're gluten-free), strip cheese, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter on celery, hummus (check it first- some are okay, some are not) with gluten-free crackers, apples with peanut butter, gluten-free crackers with tuna or chicken salad? I have not found any energy bars that are gluten-free, but I haven't done a thorough search yet. Do you have a Trader Joe's in your area? They can give you a long list of their gluten-free products.

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Guest lorlyn

Thanks for the suggestions. It has been a long school year since this is her first gluten-free year. She is a pretty picky eater anyway so it makes lunches hard. The things she likes most are things that need to be heated like waffels, bagels, bread for sandwiches. As her mother I will be glad when she learns to like salads and vegetables. She does not like eggs, cracker, cheese. We do tuna and chicken salad. It is so hard some days on her not being able to eat what she wants but I have been very proud of her for doing and learning all that she has. She is always picking up something at the store to read the labels. She likes mac and cheese and some left overs and that is why I think the school should let her use the microwave. School will be over soon and this summer we will be trying new things for her. Thanks again

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Okay, I'm a second grade teacher in Ohio. I will give you my two cents.

Unfortunately, teachers do not always know when special treats are going to arrive, so it's your responsibility as a parent to provide a stock of treats so that I can give them to your child when a "surprise" birthday treat comes in from another parent who doesn't plan ahead very well. "

I am also a teacher and I disagree with this statement. When notified that a child has a food allergy or a food intolerance I send home a letter to the parents (part must come back signed) that states that because of a sever food allergy/intolerance all "special treats" will have to be planned. Yes I have had a FEW parents bring them without notifying me and gently remind them that I have children in my classroom with food intolerances and that we could celebrate the next day so I could notify the other parents about the special treats. EVERY parent I have had to do this with was just a pleasant as could be (and apologetic). I saved the cupcakes or cookies or whatever for the following day!

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I am also a teacher and I disagree with this statement. When notified that a child has a food allergy or a food intolerance I send home a letter to the parents (part must come back signed) that states that because of a sever food allergy/intolerance all "special treats" will have to be planned. Yes I have had a FEW parents bring them without notifying me and gently remind them that I have children in my classroom with food intolerances and that we could celebrate the next day so I could notify the other parents about the special treats. EVERY parent I have had to do this with was just a pleasant as could be (and apologetic). I saved the cupcakes or cookies or whatever for the following day!

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My 10 year old daughter has been on the gluten-free diet for 7 months now at the grocery store the other day she told me she is sick of eating fruit every day for lunch and snack.As we all know gluten-free bread is somewhat better if it is microwaved first. Beside fruit she eats a nacho lunchable with cold cheese :( I agree if a child can heat and clean up after using the microwave she should be able to use one. She should not have to eat cold food when it should be hot. Since Celiac is a disability the schools need to accomodate children with special needs.

------------------------------

I'm sure you're already aware of this, but there's an online organization called The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (http://www.foodallergy.org/), which clearly defines the school's responsibilities in regard to kids with food allergies. To access the entire website you may need to be a member, but I was able to bring up the guidelines without joining.

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Guest lorlyn

Thanks for the info on the web site, been at the lake and will do some reading there.

Thanks :rolleyes:

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I am also a teacher and I disagree with this statement. When notified that a child has a food allergy or a food intolerance I send home a letter to the parents (part must come back signed) that states that because of a sever food allergy/intolerance all "special treats" will have to be planned. Yes I have had a FEW parents bring them without notifying me and gently remind them that I have children in my classroom with food intolerances and that we could celebrate the next day so I could notify the other parents about the special treats. EVERY parent I have had to do this with was just a pleasant as could be (and apologetic). I saved the cupcakes or cookies or whatever for the following day!

If it works for you, that's fine. I'd prefer to have some treats on hand for the child with special dietary needs. It may just be my philosophy, but if another parent sends in a treat for his/her child's birthday, I am not going to make a big fuss and celebrate the next day. The focus is on the birthday child that day, not the child with special food needs. It's not that hard for a parent to send in a nonperishable item that the child can eat.

The policy in my school district is to give all parents 24 hours notice before a celebration of any kind.... I am able to do what I do because of that policy :) Not trying to start a fight here just offering suggestions.

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Guest j_mommy

Here's my two cents!!!! :D

It's not like birthdays pop up out of the blue!!! If that school's policy is to inform the teacher the day before or anytime in advance then as a parent you should. My son is not diagnosed...yet. I am teh celiac and I guess knowing what I know I would give the teacher notice. People as a whole are aware of peanut alergies ect and have to be aware of what they are bringing and give notice so a child in the class doen't feel left out. I also agree with the extra treats on hand. These are all good suggestions and when my child gets to be school age.....I'm going to keep all you great teachers in mind!!! Thank you for all you do!

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I get so nervous when a parent tells me that something is free of a particular allergen. With my girl who had the peanut allergy, that was pretty obvious, and most parents knew her from the year before. I also had a kid who reacted badly to caffeine and couldn't have chocolate. Again, this was pretty much a no brainer and lots of parents sent in a treat for her. However, if my son had a problem with gluten, I don't think I could trust another parent's judgement unless that parent also had someone close to them with celiac disease/gluten allergy. I've been on this diet a little over a month, and I just feel like I have to be on my toes every time I put anything in my mouth. You could always talk to the parents you know and trust to get them to understand, but sometimes- I hate to say it this way- some of the parents are not all that bright, and the finer points of this diet would be over their heads. Just as an aside, I have seen more than one parent in our office who did not know their child's teacher or grade level, believe it or not. :o

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